Article

Novel group VII histidine kinase HwHhk7B from the halophilic fungi Hortaea werneckii has a putative role in osmosensing.

Institute of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Vrazov Trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Current Genetics (Impact Factor: 2.41). 07/2007; 51(6):393-405. DOI: 10.1007/s00294-007-0131-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Histidine kinases (HKs) are abundant among prokaryotes and have been characterized in fungi and plants, although not yet in animals. These enzymes regulate diverse processes, including adaptation to osmotic stress and virulence of plant and animal pathogens. Here, we report the cloning, characterization and phylogenetic analysis of HwHHK7A and HwHHK7B, HK genes from the fungi Hortaea werneckii, a proposed model system for studying salt tolerance in eukaryotes. The two HwHhk7 isoforms are 96.7% identical in amino-acid sequence and have a typical eukaryotic hybrid HK domain composition. On the bases of the conserved sequence of the H box, they are classified into the group VII ascomycete HKs. For the HwHhk7B protein, the autokinase activity was demonstrated in vitro. The salt-responsive expression of the HwHHK7 genes and the increased osmotolerance of a wild-type Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain expressing the HwHHK7B gene lead us to speculate that these newly identified HKs have roles in osmosensing.

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